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The Book People is a bookseller based in Godalming, Surrey, UK. Founded in 1988, The Book People sells a value-led curated range of books, gifts, toys and stationery through its website, catalogue, and pop-up events in schools and businesses around the country.

The Book People
Book sales
Founded26 August 1988 (1988-08-26)
FounderTed Smart
Area served
UK, Ireland
Key people
Simon Mason (CEO)
Sarah Walden (COO)
Ajay Patel (CFO)
Scott Scott (CDO)
OwnerEndless LLP Edit this on Wikidata



The Book People started business in 1988 with one van, visiting offices in the Guildford, Surrey area, where the company found its first customers. By 1990, there were 140 Book People Local distributors around the country visiting workplaces such as bakeries, banks, schools and hospitals.[1]

As demand for their books grew, Book People launched their mail-order catalogue. This was shortly followed by their online store in 1998.

Having initially operated solely from a base in Godalming, Surrey, the company went through a period of rapid expansion by opening offices in Haydock, Merseyside and a customer service centre and warehouse in Bangor, Wales in 2002. As of February 2016, the company employed over 600 staff.[2]

In September 2014, Endless LLP, a UK-based equity investor, supported a management buy-out of Book People.

Business modelEdit

Book People order and stock titles in bulk direct from publishers and suppliers, forgoing the right of return.[3]

Book People also stocks discounted books, gifts, toys and stationery.

Book People LocalEdit

Book People Local is the company’s offline direct-to-consumer channel.

Gift PeopleEdit

As part of its growth, Book People has acquired numerous brands since 1988, including Red House Children’s Books and Index Books.[4] Formally known as Index Books and rebranded in 2015, Gift People is the company’s arm which specialises in gifts, toy and stationery, while also carrying books which tie in with their range of gift products - working in the same direct-to-consumer manner as Book People Local distributors, providing a different range of products.

Awards and initiativesEdit

Upon opening the new warehouse and customer service centre in Bangor in 2002, Book People was praised for creating 180 new jobs, as well as 250 temporary/seasonal roles in North West Wales and received a grant from the Welsh Assembly Government to help fund the state-of-the-art facility.[5]

In 2007, Book People’s contribution to bookselling was recognised as they won the Direct to Consumer Bookselling Company of the Year Award at the Bookseller Retail Awards. Founder Ted Smart was also honoured with the Random House Group Award for Outstanding Contribution to Bookselling.[6]

Book People previously hosted online bookshops for Channel 4’s TV Book Club, CITV’s Bookaboo, and the Big Book Babble programme in conjunction with Scholastic.[7] From 2008 until 2014, Book People operated and hosted the Queen of Teen award, which biannually honoured authors of teen fiction. Past winners of Queen of Teen include Louise Rennison (2008), Cathy Cassidy (2010), Maureen Johnson (2012) and Juno Dawson, née James Dawson, (2014).[8]


  1. ^ About Us by Book People, 2016.
  2. ^ "Failure Page". Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  3. ^ Book People Promise by Book People, 2016.
  4. ^ "The Book People To Buy Index". 2007-09-22. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  5. ^ "> Business > Book People to create 180 jobs in North Wales". News Wales. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  6. ^ Blackwell takes awards crown by Graeme Neill,, 21 September 2007. Archived at Internet Archive.
  7. ^ "Big Book Babble". Big Book Babble. 2013-01-22. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  8. ^ "Queen of Teen". Queen of Teen. 2014. Archived from the original on 2016-03-18. Retrieved 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)